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Ideas for trip somewhere in Europe this October for 4?

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Hi,
We are a family of four (27, 29 year old and mid fifties couple), who are searching for ideas on a travel destination for this mid-October.
Originally, we had plans to go to Viet Nam, Cambodia, see Angkor Wat, etc., but felt at this time, it was taking on too much in the way of flight time, Visa's, as well as jet lag coming home. There's an event in mid-November we need to be home for as well.
The original trip was interesting to all of us, and I liked it because I've been there before, and found the area fascinating. The tours of the temples and other areas, (Siam Reap for instance) would have been great. I know everyone would be invested, and we would never be lacking for things to see and do. Also, Viet Nam has beautiful places - I've never been to them, and we looked forward to the possibility of going there to discover more... However, it's now going to the back burner.
One of us is traveling from California, the rest are coming from the East Coast.
We are looking to travel somewhere in Europe somewhere where the weather will be warm and sunny, with little to no rain.
I'd love there to be, as Cambodia had, places to visit with history and tours so that we can take away knowledge. Somewhere with plenty to see and do.
We love the beach, waves, and as anyone would, beautiful scenery. We also enjoy the outdoors and would welcome healthy hikes - we aren't mountain climbers, but we aren't lazy either. Some of us might be in better shape and have more energy than the others but we all are game for the opportunity to engage our limbs in some healthy exercise while we are on vacation!
Can anyone suggest a rough itinerary of sorts?
I had considered Greece, having visited Santorini in 1985, it was so beautiful. I researched other areas of Greece but there are so many islands, it was difficult) Would Greece be "off" due to it's current financial crisis?
Venice is another area which is of interest, Rome would be nice. Pompeii...
I read somewhere about "the most beautiful train ride in the world"... from Italy to ??? Are we already too late to start making plans?
We plan to connect tomorrow evening to discuss some ideas. I appreciate your help in the meantime. Thank you very much.

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